“… be holy, for I am the Lord your God.”
— Leviticus 20:7
Have you ever noticed how many people claim to “believe in God,” but on closer inspection, the “god” they believe in is merely one made up in the factory of the human mind? And rarely, it seems, does that god have any standards of holiness. I recall once sharing the Gospel with a woman, and when I began talking about God’s judgment, she stopped me and said, “Oh, no. My God would never do a thing like that.” I said, “Madam, you are absolutely correct. Your god would never bring anyone into judgment. The fact of the matter is, your god would never do anything at all. He doesn’t exist anywhere other than in the fantasies of your own mind. However, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the Scriptures, has declared explicitly what He will do; He will judge every evil thought and way.” I’m afraid that many today are guilty of the same idolatry, diminishing or eliminating God’s holiness, and that leads to an “anything goes” attitude.
As people have created their own images of God, our society has endured a moral decline. Pollster George M. Gallup, Jr. says the United States faces “a moral and ethical crisis of the first dimension” and needs to find spiritual answers to deal with the situation. Our educators and courts have forgotten George Washington’s warning in his farewell address— that we should not be so naive as to suppose that we can maintain morality in the absence of religion. All history and experience forbid us to indulge in such a vain supposition, he said. But we have been just that naive, and now having sown the wind, we reap the whirlwind. Today we indeed face a moral crisis of the first dimension.
Yes, we live in a largely immoral world. But like the white lily blossoming on a dung heap, so God calls us to purity in the midst of an impure world. The Bible tells us that God wants us to be holy, even as the Lord is holy.